The sheriff wishes to hire more deputies and institute pay raises. (Source: WAFF)
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
The Sheriff of Madison County wants more deputies on his force.
The request came at Tuesday's Madison County Commission budget hearing to determine the next fiscal year.
Sheriff Blake Dorning asked for funding to hire 10 new full-time deputies and six part-timers. He also asked for a five percent pay raise for all new employees and pay increase for current correction officers and support personnel.
He told commissioners his fuel budget has not been able to cover costs for the past four years, where he's been forced to dip into his corrections budget.
The most important request he had was getting more qualified deputies in uniform.
"We want to continue to provide the citizens the services that they are most deserving of, we need to do that," Dorning said. "We have to do that. That's not an option so regardless of what we receive in pay and man power, we are going to use it the most effective and efficient way we possibly can."
Sheriff Dorning cited more businesses relocating to the county, bringing in more people, as the reason for his request. He said the ratio of people to deputies in the field is so high they cannot keep up.
Commissioner Phil Vandiver asked what was more important to the department at the present time.
"We've asked our deputies, more money or more deputies," the sheriff responded. "We are so strapped from running call to call that at this time, we need more deputies."
The sheriff hopes that, for the first time, part of the budget will go towards technology maintenance, especially with the recent purchase of body cameras with grant money, which will be on the streets next month.
The commission is expected to approve a budget later this month.